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Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) Certification: Details on Examination and Certification in Financial Forensics

Written by AnonymousAugust 23, 2011
"Financial Forensics(CFF) Certification"

If you’re looking to improve your career in accounting, obtaining an accounting certificate is an excellent first step. Accounting certifications can expand your accounting knowledge and increase your proficiency in a specific area of the accounting field.

Introduction to Certified in Financial Forensics Certification

The Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) designation is given exclusively to Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) who specialize in providing forensic accounting services, including

  • Bankruptcy
  • Insolvency and reorganization
  • Computer forensic analysis
  • Economic damages calculations
  • Family law
  • Fraud prevention, detection, and response
  • Financial statement misrepresentation
  • Valuations

The primary focus of CPAs that hold this certification is to increase their expertise in forensic accounting in order to provide a wider range of services to their clients and to perform those services in a more qualified manner.

Along with access to helpful resources reserved exclusively for members, becoming a CFF:

  • Shows clients and employers that you’re a masterful and trustworthy financial forensic professional
  • Demonstrates your dedication to professional growth, due to the program’s emphasis on continued education
  • Provides a powerful testament to your well-developed forensic accounting skills, especially coupled with your CPA certificate
  • Opens up the possibility of receiving referrals from individuals in related professions
  • Welcomes you into a community of other financial forensic service providers who share your interests and may provide networking opportunities

Key Steps to Be Certified in Financial Forensics Certification

To be eligible for CFF designation, you’re absolutely required to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), which entails holding a valid and unrevoked CPA certificate or license. Along with this preliminary requirement, the following conditions apply:

  • You must have an American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) membership in good standing
  • You must have at least five years of relevant work experience in the accounting field
  • You must meet the minimum continuing professional education requirements
  • You must pass the CFF Credential Examination

Details of the Certified in Financial Forensics Examination

The CFF Examination is a computer-based multiple choice test that lasts four hours. As of 2011, the registration fee for new registrants is between $300 and $500, depending on your membership standing. CFF candidates sitting for the exam can expect the test to cover the following topics:

  • Professional Responsibilities and Practice Management: Information about the AICPA
  • Fundamental Forensic Knowledge: Including information about navigating the legal system and preparing and delivering financial reports
  • Specialized Forensic Knowledge: More specific accounting knowledge about topics, such as family law, fraud, and valuation

Preparing for the Certified in Financial Forensics Examination

The AICPA recommends that you prepare for the CFF Examination by reviewing the Content Specification Outline (CSO) found on their website and coupling this with information you’ve obtained through relevant work experience — generally understood to amount to 1,000 hours of forensic accounting work.

Additionally, the AICPA offers a Financial Forensic Accounting Education Series, a 15-course series, available online, that covers the body of knowledge tested on the CFF exam.

Maintaining the Certified in Financial Forensics Designation

After passing the exam, you’re required to submit the CFF Credential application, found on the AICPA website.

 In order for your CFF application to be accepted, you must have earned a minimum of

1,000 hours of business experience in forensic accounting
75 hours of education (including CPE) in forensic accounting

Additionally, you must pay a credential fee when you send in your application, which ranges from $150 to $350, depending on the other credentials you may have.

 Keep in mind you may be required to pay a pro-rata portion of fees, depending on what time of year your application is submitted.

Governing Board Information

The CFF designation is offered by

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036